Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism?And How to Turn the Tide

Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism?And How to Turn the Tide

by Azeem Ibrahim


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Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism?And How to Turn the Tide by Azeem Ibrahim

Piercing and hard-hitting, an international expert pin-points the menacing rise of a radical ideology that is fueling ISIS and terror cells world-wide.More than thirteen years ago after the "War on Terror" was declared, many in the West now feel less secure than ever before. Many security experts believe global Jihad is on the rise throughout the West, and yet these same experts do not know how to stop the rising tide.Military action abroad and police action at home have only attended to the symptoms of terrorism, not the cause. The root, according to Dr. Ibrahim, is actually the extreme ideology of Wahhabism—the puritanical, reactionary, isolationist, xenophobic, and bigoted sect of Sunni Islam that has been the ideological bedrock of the state of Saudi Arabia since its original rise in the 18th Century.Foreign policy, socio-economic factors, alienation, and identity are often invoked in explaining the rise in radicalization, and while they do have a role to play, these are secondary factors. The primary cause is ideology, and Dr. Ibrahim places the origins of this radical extremism in historic context in a cogent manner, while also articulating specific policy goals and social action points going forward. Much of it hinges on altering decades of geopolitics regarding Saudi Arabia.In his groundbreaking Radical Origins, Dr. Ibrahim will provide an accessible primer on radicalism, an understanding of jihadist history, and a way forward, debunking misconceptions about Islam and this jihadist offshoot along the way. This remarkable work culminates in a powerful body of evidence about how to contain, reduce, and stop the spread of radicalization once and for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681775487
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 786,204
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dr. Azeem Ibrahimearned his doctorate at Cambridge University and has lectured at the U.S. Army War College, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Chicago. He was the CEO of a global consultancy firm and worked in international finance before turning to policy work. He is the author of several academic papers and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy and CBS News. He has advised the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the U.S. State Department, and more. He is currently a fellow at Oxford University and splits his time between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Table of Contents

Terminology ix

Introduction xi

Part 1 Looking Back to the Islamic Golden Age 1

Muhammad and the Birth of Islam 9

Muhammad's Moral Mission 11

The Constitution of Medina-the Prototype of an Islamic State 12

The Caliphates 18

The Rashidun-The Right Guided Caliphs 19

The Umayyad Caliphate-God's Sword 23

The Abbasid Caliphate-The Light of the World 26

Summary 30

Part 2 Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism 33

Al-Wahhab and Revolutionary Islam 38

The First Wahhabi Emirate: Jihad Against Polytheism (1744-1818) 42

The Second Wahhabi Emirate: Regrouping and Consolidation (1823-1891) 44

The Third Wahhabi Emirate: Maturity and Orthodoxy (1902-1953) 47

The Ikhwan: The Original Wahhabi Ultra-Radicals 49

Wahhabism Becomes Salafism 52

Interaction with the Muslim Brotherhood 54

Oil-Saudi Arabia Becomes Rich 56

The Domestic Challenges of Contemporary Saudi Arabia 60

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Development of Islamist Salafism 63

The Emergence of Jihadi-Salafism in Saudi Arabia 66

Summary 67

Part 3 Modern Maoism 69

The Logic of Terrorism 71

The Logic of Salafist Terrorism 78

Friend and Foe 78

Enemies Near and Far 83

The "Just" War 86

The "True" Faith 89

Ideological War 97

The Goals of the Salafist Movement: Sharia 101

The Role of Theology 103

"We Love Death as You Love Life" 108

The Particular Challenge of Salafism 110

Conclusion 113

Part 4 An Islamic Challenge 119

The Amman Message and the London Declaration 122

An Islamic Rejection of Salafist Arguments 125

The Right to Rebel 125

The Laws of War 129

Conclusions 133

Part 5 Exporting Hate 137

Spreading Propaganda 142

Hate Preaching in Britain 145

Abu Qatada 149

Abdullah al-Faisal 150

Abu Hamza al-Masri 151

Omar Bakri Mohammed 152

Implications 153

The Stages of Radicalization 156

Stage 1 The Bottom of the Pyramid: "We Are Oppressed" 159

Stage 2 "They Are Attacking Our People" 167

Stage 3 "The Band of Brothers" 172

Stage 4 Violent Jihad 174

Summary 177

Part 6 A Case-Study: Salafism in the Balkans 181

Islam in Yugoslavia 187

The Muslim Population and the Balkan Wars 189

Postwar Salafist Involvement and Narratives 190

Bosnia 192

Kosovo 192

Similarities and Differences 196

The Salafist Interpretation 197

Part 7 Iraq and Syria 199

Salafism in Iraq 205

Salafism in Syria 210

Salafist Groups Not Aligned to Al-Qaeda 211

AI-Qaeda's Official Faction: Al-Nusra 214

Al-Qaeda's Offspring: ISIS 216

Global Repercussions 223

Summary 227

Part 8 The Antidote 233

The Role of Saudi Arabia 240

The Role of Religious Leaders 246


For Western Policy Makers 253

For Teachers 253

For Journalists 256

For Policy Makers 258

For All of Us 265

Epilogue 271

References 275

Index 289

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